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Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater

I’ve always wanted to try crocheting some sort of clothing piece that I could wear as I’ve previously made a lot of accessories such as cowls and hats.  I dabbled in sweater-making with Myla’s “Arbor Baby Sweater" but up till now, I could not find a crocheted sweater pattern for adults that I absolutely loved.  Furthermore, I didn’t feel confident enough to try making my own design since I had no previous experience working on an adult sweater.  

Much to my delight, I saw a picture of a gorgeous sweater that draped beautifully on-line, and it turned out to be a free crochet pattern on the Lion Brand Yarns website called the “Simple Crochet Shrug" (see HERE).  When I quickly read through the pattern, I was blown away by its simplicity as the construction was simply one massive rectangle folded in half and then seamed along the sides while leaving arm holes- no other attachments were necessary!  It was a very popular pattern as over 600 people had made this project on Ravelry, and I couldn’t wait to give this sweater a try!

Picking out the colour and yarn I wanted for my sweater was tricky, but eventually we decided upon Bernat’s Softee Chunky in “Grey Ragg”.  It is a very soft yarn that does not fuzz up too easily and I absolutely loved the light grey and white variegation that I knew would give my sweater a beautiful look.  It’s a super bulky (level 6) yarn that has a net weight of 100 g/3.5 oz and approximately 99 m/108 yds.  In total, I used five skeins of this yarn.  Each skein regularly costs $4.99 (Canadian) and with the Michael’s 40% off coupon, each skein came out to $2.99, so the cost of materials for this sweater was very affordable.  You can also find this yarn on Amazon HERE for only $2.74!

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I read through almost all the Ravelry entries of this project to see how other people’s sweaters turned out depending on how many chains they started with, what yarn they used and any other modifications they made.  It was a challenge determining the size as some people’s sweaters turned out too long or too short, and it was hard to judge how tall these people were in their photos.  I wanted to make my sweater oversized and long enough to cover my rear, and I actually ended up making my sweater WAYY too big on the first try.  Sweaters stretch a lot and I decided to frog my work and start over so that I could try and make it the perfect size on the second try!  

I chained 76 using my 10 mm crochet hook.  It is VERY important to note that this initial series of chain stitches will be the LENGTH of your sweater, so determining this initial length is key as you will not be able to change it later on (unless you add some edging at the end).  The rows worked later on will be the width of your sweater.  Do keep in mind that your sweater can stretch later on as you pull it downwards too.  For reference, I am about 5’ 6” tall.  

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To achieve the beautiful ribbing of this sweater, you work single crochets in the back loops only.  As a reminder, the back loops are the loops further away from you while the front loops are the ones closer to you when you’re crocheting.

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You crochet row by row in the back loops only, turning your work as you go.  How simple can this pattern be?  It’s the perfect project to work on when you’re watching tv or having a conversation since you don’t need to keep the count and it works up so quickly since you’re using chunky yarn and such a large crochet hook.  Doesn’t the ribbing give such beautiful texture?

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You keep adding rows until you are happy with the width of your sweater.  In the end, I ended up with 56 rows measuring 31”/79 cm across.  Lengthwise, my rectangle was 38.5”/98 cm (remember that this is capable of stretching quite a bit too).

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Next, you fold the rectangle in half.  It is very important that you fold your rectangle in half so that the rows are running vertically!  I noticed that quite a few people on Ravelry were folding their rectangles the wrong way as their rows were running horizontally.  This meant that their resulting sweaters were very wide and short!

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To create the arm holes, you seam up the sides.

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I seamed up 11”/28 cm and left 8”/20 cm for the arm hole on each side.

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This is how you wear the piece- now it’s looking more sweater-like :)  You’ll notice that the the rows now run horizontally in the front but vertically in the back.  When I was working on this piece and periodically measuring it to my body to check for size, it seemed as though it might end up being too short.  However, we learned from our first experience, and we knew that it was capable of stretching a lot later on.  Thus, don’t be too worried if you think your sweater seems it might be a tad short…

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I wanted to add my own modification to this sweater pattern by adding a special ribbed collar.  To do so, I located the midline of the sweater and attached a stitch marker (you can’t see it too well in the picture below, but there is a peach stitch marker where the midline arrow is pointing to).  Next, I wore the sweater and determined where I wanted the collar to start. I placed a green stitch marker 12 rows below the arm seam on either side (this will vary depending on your height and where you want your own collar to start).  In case you’re interested, I have been using my “Clover Lock Ring Markers" a lot for all my recent projects, and none of them have broken on me (buy them HERE)!

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Starting from the green stitch marker on the left side (when you’re looking at the sweater) and crocheting upwards towards the peach marker, I worked some slip stitches, single crochets, half double crochets and then double crochets in Row 1.  This helped to slowly build up the collar and make it taper towards the ends.  I did the exact same pattern back downwards to the other green stitch marker once I reached the midline at the top to make it symmetrical.  I used a smaller 8 mm crochet hook for this collar part to get tighter, smaller stitches compared to those of the body.  I also tried to pick up stitches quite close together so that there were no gaps in the collar.

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Row 1 is complete!

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Next I alternated front post double crochets with back post double crochets in Row 2 to begin creating a ribbed effect.  

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I did the same thing for Rows 3 and 4 to really emphasize the ribbing.

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The ribbed collar is complete!

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You can fold the collar up…

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And the ribbing is on the other side too :)  I think this ribbed collar is a really nice addition, don’t you?  I’m really happy with how it turned out!

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Here is the pattern for the collar that I added in case you’re interested in crocheting one for your sweater too!

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To access the free Lion Brand pattern for their “Simple Crochet Shrug”, click HERE.  They have also written up patterns for the same shrug using different weights of yarn (e.g. worsted, bulky, super bulky), so see a list of them HERE towards the bottom under “Also available in other Lion Brand yarns" to get an idea of what numbers you should use for your particular yarn.

In summary for my own sweater, I chained 76 initially and did 56 rows of single crochets.  I used a 10 mm crochet hook for the body of the sweater and 5 skeins of yarn.  Keep in mind that these numbers will vary for yourself depending on how long and wide you want your sweater to be (and depending on your height), what hook size and yarn you use (worsted, bulky, super bulky) and how tightly you crochet (smaller, tighter stitches will result in your sweater stretching less while loose stitches will result in more stretching).

Collar Pattern:

- Tag upper midline with stitch marker.

- Tag sides with stitch markers indicating where you want your collar to begin and end (12 rows below arm seam for mine).

{Sl st = slip stitch, Sc = single crochet, Hdc = half double crochet, Fpdc = front post double crochet, Bpdc = back post double crochet (learn how to do Fpdc’s HERE and Bpdc’s HERE)}

Using 8 mm hook,

R1: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, Dc 57 (or however many it takes for you to reach stitch marker at upper midline- space your stitches close together so that there are no gaps). Dc at stitch marker.  Repeat exact same pattern down the other way to your stitch marker: Dc 57, Hdc 2, Sc 2, Sl st 2.  Slip stitch to next stitch, turn. 

R2: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, alternate fpdc and bpdc around (i.e. start with fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, etc) until 6 stitches left.  Hdc 2, sc 2, sl st 2. Slip stitch to next stitch, turn.

R3: Same as R2 but alternate bpdc with fpdc (i.e. start with bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, etc) to ensure that ribbing is building up.

R4: Same as R2.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

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I was incredibly excited to try on my new sweater and we took advantage of the last days of summer weather to do a photoshoot before the snow comes!  This sweater is so versatile as it looks cute over a dress, and I can see myself wearing this in the winter with leggings and tall boots too!

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I’ll be able to wear this as my pregnant belly continues to grow as I enter my third trimester soon- oversized cardigans and sweaters are a must as winter and sweater weather rolls around!  I practically lived in my nursing tank tops with blazers and cardigans over top when I was nursing Myla (see my Maternity Fashion HERE and my Nursing Fashion HERE), so I know I’ll be wearing this sweater a lot post partum, especially since we’re having a winter baby.

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I’m really happy with how the sizing of the sweater turned out as the length is not too long or too short.  The ginormous sweater I made on my first try (I chained 100 and did 68 rows) made me look like I was being engulfed in a blanket as it extended down towards my calves!  

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The vertical ribbing looks beautiful from behind.  This sweater is so incredibly luxurious and romantic…

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This sweater does tend to bunch around the bum area a bit due to its construction, but it’s not a big deal…

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Popping up my ribbed collar!  If you don’t want to add this special collar or you think it might be too difficult, you could always simply crochet more rows when working on your big rectangle to increase its width.  The piece will naturally fold to give a collar if it’s wide enough.  

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You could also add some buttons to this sweater if you wanted some closure!  I myself love how it hangs and drapes naturally when I wear it. Another modification you could try is adding sleeves by crocheting around the armholes too!

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[Dress: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Steve Madden; Purse: Coach; Sweater: Me :D; Bracelet: Mikaylove; Necklace: Mahina; Watch: Michael Kors]

I know people tend to whip out their crochet hooks as temperatures drop and fall and winter begin, so this is the perfect project to work on!  Sweater weather will soon be upon us, and it is actually currently snowing where I live as I write this post (ahh, the fleeting days of summer).  This sweater is so incredibly simple to crochet and the results are gorgeous, like something you would see in a high end fashion boutique.  It’s a great beginner’s project, and it’s such an amazing feeling being able to wear something you created with your own two hands from scratch (I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they discover that I made my crocheted pieces)!  Let me know what you think of this sweater in the comments below, if you’ll be trying out this design, and if you’ve come across any other sweater patterns that you’ve loved.  If you do end up making your own sweater, I think it’d be really helpful to leave a comment below letting us know what yarn you used and how many chains and rows you ended up going with too :)

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Here are some of my previous winter crochet projects in case you’re interested in crocheting some hats and cowls while you’re at it!  From left to right and top to bottom we have the Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie, Knotted Headband, Puff Stitch Cowl, Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl, Long Double Crochet Cowl, and Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie.  The “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie" has a similar construction to this sweater and is a great beginner’s project!  Don’t forget to keep up with me on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I’m putting the final touches on a lot of new designs and projects.  I’ve been on a crocheting frenzy as I try and bring to life all the designs swirling in my mind before Baby #2 comes and life gets extremely busy!  Enjoy making your own beautiful sweaters and let me know how it goes!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & step-by-step tutorial: Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & step-by-step tutorial: Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater

Crochet Toddler Loop Boots with Suede Sole

One of the things I love about my passion for crochet is being able to make beautiful, unique items for my little girl that cannot be purchased in stores and are handcrafted with a lot of love!  For Myla’s 1st birthday, she was gifted with a pair of Padraig boots (see here if you’ve never seen them before) from some dear friends: these boots were crocheted with New Zealand wool, lined with sheepskin and had leather soles!  Myla wore them for the next couple of months and they were great as they were warm and provided great grip as she learned how to walk around.  You can see Myla wearing them in this photo I posted to Instagram below (don’t you love our matching parkas?)!  As soon as Ryan and I laid eyes on these Padraigs, we knew we wanted to try and crochet Myla a pair of boots with a leather or suede sole that would be functional for our walking toddler (see my previous baby boots here).  

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As I was looking up patterns on different sites, I came across “Two Girls Patterns" on Etsy and absolutely fell in love with their designs!  Kris and Lorin have so many patterns for cute and modern slippers, boots and hats, and I thought their "Furrylicious/Little Diva Boots" in particular really stood out!  These boots are crocheted using the loop stitch which gives a beautiful and unique texture to the boots.  I was very excited to get my hands on the pattern, and if you visit their Etsy store, you will see it being sold for $5.50 USD (you get a discount if you buy multiple patterns at the same time, and the pattern is also available for babies, toddlers, and even adults!).  I knew it would be a great pattern because their store has rave reviews with everyone saying that their patterns are easy to follow and detailed with clear pictures!

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The toddler version includes sizes 4-9 (you get all the sizes when you purchase the pattern), and I opted for a size 4 for Myla.  Their pattern very clearly states all the materials needed, instructions on how to work the loop stitch and some notes that are very important to read before starting the project.  For example, this boot is made by holding two strands of yarn at the same time!  I started by crocheting the sole using a tan colour.  

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Next, I started crocheting the upper shoe with a white yarn (I used “Patons Canadiana” in “Winter White”).

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Then the fun part began: the loop stitches!  It was my first time doing the loop stitch, and I LOVED doing it!  See this great tutorial and video that Fresh Stitches put together HERE that details how to do the loop stitch. 

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The loops are formed by wrapping the yarn around your finger!   It’s important to draw both strands of the looped yarn through the stitch as just drawing through one strand will not work.  For some reason when I began crocheting the loop stitches, I was doing them incorrectly by swinging my hook in the wrong direction- the loops seemed okay at first but as I continued moving on, the loops kept pulling inwards toward the centre of the boot and thus getting smaller.  Thankfully, I noticed my mistake, undid my work, examined the instructions carefully again and continued onwards.  Once I started doing the loop stitch correctly, they looked great!  I need to figure out how to incorporate loop stitches in future projects as the results look so textured and beautiful!

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Next, the upper boot is worked up as you add more and more loop stitches!  I really love the look of the overlapping and cascading loops! 

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The boots are designed so that buttons can be sewn on one edge while there are button holes on the opposing and overlapping edge.  The buttons give such a cute look to the boots!

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Finally, my loop boots were complete!  I was so happy with how they turned out, and the pattern was very easy to follow and understand.  I love how Kris and Lorin laid out the directions very clearly, and they always offer support for their patterns if you need it and are more than happy to help :)  These boots are very well-designed and I really admire designers who can think out patterns such as these (I myself find designing boots and shoes daunting, especially since the shape and sizing is so important!).  This pattern is well worth the money, particularly since it includes the pattern for so many sizes…I can keep crocheting boots for Myla until she reaches size 9!

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Here are Myla’s boots from the bottom!  We let Myla wear them on carpeted surfaces such as our church sanctuary, but she would be slipping and sliding all over the place if we let her wear them on a hardwood or tile floor.  Thus, I looked up many tutorials, videos and posts about how to make crocheted slippers non-slip.  Moogly has a great post on “7 Great Ways to Make Slippers Non-Slip”- some of these ways include adding fabric paint or silicone sealant.  One method that I was particularly interested in was using a rubber spray called “Plasti Dip” which would apparently make the sole rubbery (see video HERE).  [UPDATE: I tried using “Plasti Dip” on another pair of boots and it worked very well- see the full blog post HERE!]

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However, we really wanted to try using leather/suede for the soles as we loved the luxurious and very functional look of Myla’s Padraigs.  And so, we purchased some scrap suede and excitedly began Myla’s Loop Boots, version 2.0!  I crocheted a sole using some scrap yarn following the pattern for a size 4.5 boot so that Myla would have a little more room to grow into them.  We then traced the sole onto the suede and made tick marks at every stitch with a pen so that we knew where to add holes (e.g. if you have 42 stitches in the last round of the sole, you should have 42 tick marks around the suede!).  We then cut out the suede sole and punctured the holes around with a utility knife.

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Here is a more detailed picture showing how we measured the suede sole.  We knew we had to account for the fact that the stitches crocheted into the suede would pull upwards so we cut the suede sole a little bit bigger than the actual size of the crocheted sole.  The inner edge is the actual size of the crocheted sole, and we added 0.5 cm all around for our suede sole.  The slits were made close to the inner edge.  It was somewhat difficult wiggling my crochet hook into the slits when crocheting around but it was definitely possible and I was so excited to start the upper boot!

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 We ended up using the same white Patons yarn as we loved how it looked (Sidenote: After multiple wears, Myla’s boots have pilled and fuzzed up a bit.  You could experiment with different yarns in case you don’t want them to fuzz up as much!).  In the end, I was able to crochet two pairs of loop boots with two skeins of the white yarn!  After completing the first round of the upper shoe, this is what we had!  We loved how it was looking already :)

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You could add some faux fur or fur to the bottom of the boot for some added warmth and comfort!  We glued the fur to the suede and then I continued crocheting the upper shoe.

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After following the exact same pattern from here on in, these were our finished boots!  We decided to go for some pretty gold buttons for this pair!  Aren’t they beautiful?

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Here is a picture showing the difference between the crocheted yarn sole and the suede sole!

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I was incredibly excited to have Myla try them on and walk around our hardwood floor!  Much to my delight, she walked around with no problem at all….no slipping or sliding as the suede sole provided her with plenty of grip!

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She was pretty happy to wear them too!  I love her sweet smile :)

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The shaggy, loopy look of the boots are absolutely adorable!  She always gets compliments whenever she wears them, and I can’t help but smile when people ask where I bought them and I get to say that I made them :)  I never would have imagined that I would be able to crochet my daughter such functional, luxurious, and stylish boots a few years ago, and it’s amazing having her wear something I crocheted for her with so much love!

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We used to take monthly family photoshoots up until Myla turned 1, so it was interesting trying to plan this shoot since Myla can walk so well now!  Gone are the non-mobile days when she would stay wherever we plopped her down!  And so, we did some of our favourite activities, like playing with bubbles!

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We also did some reading (love the beautiful “Little Miss Austen” books)!

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And some fun puzzles :)

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If you’re interested in the beautiful prints that we’re wearing, check out Vonbon, a children’s line based in Vancouver, Canada.  They specialize in organic cotton items (e.g. cowls, leggings, blankets, hats, bib bandanas, and headbands) that are all designed and handmade in Canada with gorgeous, sophisticated colour palettes.  I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with Vonbon’s creator Jen (who started the company with her sister Kristin) and it’s been wonderful getting to know another handmade artisan who is so passionate about her craft and what she does!

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[On MylaPolkadoto shirt: H&M, Gray Antler Leggings & Blush Triangle Infinity Cowl: Vonbon.  On me: Cape: Aritzia, Leggings: American Eagle Outfitters, Gray Antler Cowl: Vonbon]

We had to include this hilarious picture of Myla posing by the wall as I was blowing bubbles- she is a born model, haha :)  Myla photobombed our last photoshoot for the “Cabled Wrist Warmers" but this time she had the whole stage to herself!

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 I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in making these boots and also learned about some options on how to make your own crocheted slippers or boots non-slip by adding a suede sole!  I really enjoyed crocheting them and am so delighted with how they turned out!  You can purchase the toddler pattern for these loop boots HERE.  

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Kris and Lorin of “Two Girls Patterns" have partnered with me to offer a GIVEAWAY [now CLOSED- congrats “Pinkrebunny”!]!  One of my readers will win a FREE pattern from their lovely shop!  There are two ways to enter: please visit their Etsy store HERE and browse through their patterns.  Then, leave a comment below on my blog and/or on my Facebook page here (must be a follower of “All About Ami”) stating which pattern you would most like to win!  I’d love to hear what you think about our boots too and if you’ve tried making your crocheted footwear non-slip!  This contest is open worldwide and will close on Sunday, January 26th at 8 PM, MST.  If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering.  Also, in case anyone is interested, Kris and Lorin allow people to sell their finished products made from their patterns as long as credit for the original design is given to them in the listing!  If you are interested in purchasing completed loop boots for your own child or as gifts, you can check Etsy as I’ve seen them being sold there!  Thank you for reading, and happy browsing and crocheting!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cabled Wrist Warmers (free pattern by Julee Reeves)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cabled Wrist Warmers (free pattern by Julee Reeves)

Round Shell Stitch Cowl

After designing my “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl" from last week (see HERE), I wanted to try making another version that was worked in the round without a button!  I really love the shell stitch as it gives such a beautiful and elegant look, and it is extremely easy to do since it simply consists of four double crochets and a chain 1 in between!  This pattern works up really quickly and all you need are two skeins of yarn and a 10 mm hook!  In this case, I used “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" [super bulky weight (6)] in "Spearmint" to make a "Round Shell Stitch Cowl" for a friend!  

Unlike the Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl which is crocheted in rows (turning after each row), this cowl is crocheted in rounds, and thus after doing your initial chains, you must slip stitch to the first chain to form a circle.  Then you work your shell stitches all around!

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Once you complete your last shell stitch of the round, you will approach the first shell stitch that you created at the beginning.  To close the round, you will slip stitch to the top of the initial chain 3 that you crocheted at the very beginning of Round 1.    

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Then you will slip stitch into the next stitch….

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And finally you will do another slip stitch into the Chain 1 space!  This is where you will work your shell stitch!

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You will work your shell stitch into each chain 1 space around so that the shell stitches are stacked ontop of one another, NOT into the space between the shell stitches (which would result in staggered shell stitches).  

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After completing this pattern for 13 rounds and using up two skeins of yarn, your “Round Shell Stitch Cowl” will be complete!  Doesn’t it look gorgeous with its delicate and pretty design?

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This pattern works up really quickly and the result is so beautiful!

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This is the finished spearmint “Round Shell Stitch Cowl" that I made for our friend for a gift exchange!

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Here is the pattern for my “Round Shell Stitch Cowl" (worked in rounds):

Chain 48.  Join with slip stitch to first chain, being careful not to twist the chain.

Round 1: Chain 3 (this counts as first double crochet), dc in same stitch, ch 1, 2 dc in same stitch.  *Skip 3 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch*, repeat from * to end.  Slip stitch to top of initial chain 3 (12 shells [each shell made of total 4 dc and ch 1]).

Round 2-13: Slip stitch into next stitch, then slip stitch into Ch 1 space.  Chain 3, dc in same space, ch 1, 2 dc in same space.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in each ch 1 space around.  Slip stitch to top of initial chain 3 (12 shells).

Finish off and weave in ends.

{Dimensions: 15.5” long, 13.5” wide, diameter: 28” around}

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Of course, I had to make one for myself so that I could show you what the finished product looks like when worn!  I really love white as I think it looks so crisp and stunning in the winter (just like my white Pom Pom Beanie!), so I used “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" in "Fleece" to make my cowl!

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This cowl feels very luxurious and warm!  

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The elegant shell stitches help give this cowl such great texture and design :)

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I hoped you enjoyed reading about this other option on how to crochet a Shell Stitch Cowl!  If you haven’t already checked out my “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl" post, read all about it and see plenty of pics HERE!  Which style do you prefer?  

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Thank you for already sharing your “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl” pics with me- you all are so quick at making my designs, and I really appreciate your enthusiasm and warm response!  Keep sending me your pics on my Facebook page, Twitter (@AllAboutAmi), and Instagram (@AllAboutAmi, #AllAboutAmi)!  Can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner!!!  Many blessings to you and your loved ones! 

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Round Shell Stitch Cowl

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Round Shell Stitch Cowl

With 10 days till Christmas, I thought I would do a round-up of some lovely Christmas and winter crochet projects!  These ornaments and amigurumi are a great way to decorate your tree or put on display in your house or workplace!  It’s not too late to add some crochet to your Christmas :)  Here are the links to the FREE patterns:
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Row 1: Christmas Busts (Santa, Snowman, Tree, Rudolph & Elf available) by Dendennis, Mini Wreath by Planet June, Snuggles by Me
Row 2: Mini Mittens by Little Things Blogged, Christmas Light Decorations by Tuts+, Teddy Ornaments by Me
Row 3: Winter Dolls (Big Pip, Nat & Baby Mo) by Annaboo’s House, Gingerbread Man Cookie by Repeat Crafter Me, Mini Stocking by Little Things Blogged
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Do you have any crocheted ornaments on your tree?  Don’t forget to check out last year’s crocheted Christmas ornament round-up HERE to get more ideas!

With 10 days till Christmas, I thought I would do a round-up of some lovely Christmas and winter crochet projects!  These ornaments and amigurumi are a great way to decorate your tree or put on display in your house or workplace!  It’s not too late to add some crochet to your Christmas :)  Here are the links to the FREE patterns:

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Row 1Christmas Busts (Santa, Snowman, Tree, Rudolph & Elf available) by DendennisMini Wreath by Planet JuneSnuggles by Me

Row 2Mini Mittens by Little Things BloggedChristmas Light Decorations by Tuts+Teddy Ornaments by Me

Row 3Winter Dolls (Big Pip, Nat & Baby Mo) by Annaboo’s HouseGingerbread Man Cookie by Repeat Crafter MeMini Stocking by Little Things Blogged

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Do you have any crocheted ornaments on your tree?  Don’t forget to check out last year’s crocheted Christmas ornament round-up HERE to get more ideas!

Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

My mom recently celebrated her birthday, and I wanted to crochet her a buttoned cowl as a part of her gift!  It is so special crocheting items for loved ones, knowing that they will wear them and always think of you when they do :)  You might recall that I crocheted a Puff Stitch Scarf for my mom two years ago as well!  Scarves and cowls have been a must recently during our cold Canadian winters as the temperatures have been dipping extremely low and any exposed skin could result in frostbite!

I had just recently crocheted my favourite baby hat, the “Shell Stitch Beanie" for a newborn when it occurred to me that using the shell stitch would be a great idea for a cowl!  I LOVE doing the shell stitch, and the result is always beautiful.  Thus, I excitedly began and crocheted a series of chain stitches, estimating how long I wanted my mom’s cowl to be.  Then I started doing the shell stitch across!

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I wanted this cowl to be folded around the neck and secured with a button, so instead of crocheting in a circle in rounds, I crocheted it row by row, turning at the end of each row.  

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It is important to note when following the pattern that each shell stitch is worked in the Chain 1 space from the previous row below, NOT the space between the shell stitches.

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This results in a beautiful pattern in which the shell stitches are stacked upon one another rather than being staggered across the rows.  

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The edges also have a pretty scalloped design!

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For this particular cowl I crocheted 6 rows of these shell stitches.  I then sewed on a very special button that we picked up from the Halifax Farmer’s Market!

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I also crocheted a cowl for a friend in this beautiful green colour and added a brown button from the same Farmer’s Market!  I love “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" as it is so incredibly soft.  My mom’s cowl is in "Pewter" and the green one is called "Spearmint”.  I used one ball of yarn for each!

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I snapped a quick photo of the spearmint cowl before it went off to its new owner!

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This is my mom’s finished cowl!

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Here is the pattern that I made for this cowl:

Buttoned Chunky Shell Stitch Cowl (worked in rows)

Using a 10 mm crochet hook,

Chain 48

Row 1: In fourth chain from hook, dc (initial chains count as first dc), ch 1, 2 dc in same stitch.  *Skip 3 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch* repeat from * to end (12 shells [each shell made of total 4 dc and ch 1])

Rows 2-6: Chain 3, turn.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in first chain 1 space.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in each ch 1 space till end (12 shells).

Finish off and weave in ends.  Attach button towards left side of cowl (see pics above).  Be sure to wear the cowl with the scallopped edges facing upwards!

[Finished cowl is 7” in height and 29” in width, using one skein of “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool”]

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Here is my beautiful mom wearing her new buttoned cowl!  She loved it as soon as she opened it!  She particularly likes how soft the yarn is and how she can put the button through any hole of this cowl.  It’s also easy to wear since you don’t have to pull the cowl over your head which can result in staticky hair!

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I wanted to make a REALLY chunky buttoned shell stitch cowl for myself using some interesting yarn that Ryan found called “Patons Cobbles" at Michaels!  The way that the yarn was segmented into little chunks looked really neat and we were curious how it would look in a crocheted piece.  We bought a beautiful brown colour called "Moon Rock" (pictured below) and a gorgeous yellow colour called "Mustard Seed”.  

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I decided to use the “Mustard Seed" colour for my cowl since I wanted to use this big, beautiful wooden button that we picked up in a cute little craft boutique in Paris two years ago.  I think it’s so neat when we buy buttons on our travels as each button reminds me of our special adventures.  I love being able to use them in my crocheted pieces, and I had been waiting a long time to use this amazing find :)  The brown button contrasts so nicely against the mustard cowl!

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Isn’t the texture of this cowl absolutely stunning?  I love the unique look that the “Patons Cobbles” gives!

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When worn under a coat, the cowl gives a very beautiful collared effect!  It also helps keep my neck very warm too :)  What a great way to be warm and stylish at the same time!  It certainly is a statement piece that can help spice up any outfit!  With the recent frigid temperatures, we dared not take any outside photos for this shoot- thank goodness we managed to snap some snowy photos when the temperature was still manageable with the Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie a couple weeks ago!

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For this cowl, I used a 10 mm crochet hook and chained 56 initially, resulting in 14 shells.  Using two skeins of this yarn allowed me to do 5 rows.  This cowl was 7” in height and 40” across.

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{Dress: Urban Outfitters, Sweater: Roxy, Jacket: Zara, Bracelet: Mikaylove, Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl: Me!}

I crocheted another buttoned cowl for a friend using “Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn" in "Raspberry" (the same yarn I used for my "Long Double Crochet Cowl" from last year).  We chose a beautiful gold button to contrast against the pink yarn.  For this cowl I also chained 56 in the beginning, resulting in 14 shells.  With one skein of yarn I could make 7 rows (dimensions: 8.5" in height, 32" across).

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I crocheted a matching toddler cowl for my friend’s daughter too!  For this cowl I used an 8 mm crochet hook and chained 48 initially, resulting in 12 shells and 4 rows (dimensions: 4.5” in height, 24” across).  I found a smaller gold button to match with her mom’s too!

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Of course I had to make Myla a toddler cowl too!  Here we have three generations wearing the “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowls" that I crocheted, each in varying sizes!  Don’t we all look so cozy and warm?

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I hope you enjoyed reading about all the “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowls" that I crocheted!  Once you know how the basic pattern works, you can easily adapt this pattern to make your cowls various sizes and lengths (add or decrease 4 chains at the beginning to increase or decrease number of shell stitches).  This pattern is so versatile as using different yarns and different buttons helps give the cowls different looks, and they can be quite the statement piece!  These cowls also work up very quickly which is usually the case when working with chunky yarn and a large crochet hook!  The shell stitches give such an elegant, pretty, and romantic look to the cowls, wouldn’t you agree?

I also designed a “Round Shell Stitch Cowl" that is worked in rounds instead of rows and does not include a button.  See the step-by-step tutorial and free pattern HERE!

For some more cowl options, be sure to check out my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl" and "Long Double Crochet Cowl" from last year too!

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WIll you be making any of these cowls?  What yarn are you going to use?  They would make lovely Christmas gifts!  Let me know what you think about them in the comments below, and don’t forget to show me your finished pieces on my Facebook pageTwitter and Instagram (@AllAboutAmi, #AllAboutAmi)!  Happy crocheting and stay warm, everyone ❤

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie

Whenever I see a picture of a beautiful hat or scarf on-line, I always immediately check to see if the piece is knitted or crocheted.  There have been times when I’ve been disappointed to find out that the free pattern is actually a knit pattern as I have not knitted since I was a little girl.  One day as I was browsing through Facebook, I came across a beautiful ribbed hat that had an almost-knitted look on the Lion Brand Facebook page, and I was delighted to find out that it was actually a free crochet pattern on their site (found HERE)!  When I quickly read through the pattern and saw how the hat was constructed, I knew I absolutely had to give this hat a try! 

I happened to have some worsted weight (4) grey yarn in my stash (Patons Canadiana in “Medium Grey”), so I began right away using my 6 mm crochet hook!  I knew that my head was a bit bigger so I started off with more chains than the pattern called for: I chained 41 for this grey beanie.  This initial length is the height of your hat- keep in mind that you’ll want to make it longer if you plan to fold over your hat to give a nice rim or if you want it to be slouchier.

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I crocheted the first row as normal.  This was my first time crocheting a hat row by row as all the hats I had previously made were crocheted in a circle in rounds!  This is what sets apart the construction of this hat and makes it a lot easier for beginners since working in rounds can be more difficult.

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The ribbed look is achieved by crocheting in the back loops only of each row.  As a reminder, each stitch is comprised of a “v” with two loops: a back loop and a front loop.  The back loops are the ones further away from you and the front loops are the ones closer to you!

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By crocheting in the back loops only, the front loops are left out and are more visible which gives the ribbed effect.

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You continue crocheting in the back loops only until your piece can fit around your head!  Keep in mind that your piece can stretch quite a bit too.  I ended up crocheting 76 rows or until the piece was 17.5” across.

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Here is a close up of the beautiful texture!

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Next, you thread your yarn through the ends of the rows along one of the long edges.

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Then you pull the yarn tightly to gather the edges together until the hole at the top gets smaller and smaller!  After I tightly tied a knot, there was still a tiny hole visible so I sewed it shut completely.

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The last step is to sew the short side of the hat together and you’re done!  It’s so easy, right?

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This grey beanie ended up being 10” tall, and when I tried it on, it was too short to fold up to give a nice rim.  And so, I decided to make another hat, this time a longer one that I could fold up!

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While shopping for yarn at Michaels, Ryan came across this absolutely beautiful yarn by “Loop & Threads" called "Ring Spun”!  It is a bulky (5) yarn that is 55% acrylic and 45% cotton- it does not fuzz at all and is so soft.  I knew this would be the perfect yarn for my second beanie!  I was excited to share this find with you all on Instagram and it was neat to hear that some of you love it too!

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Also using a 6 mm crochet hook, I chained 46 initially for this beanie (keep in mind that this yarn is thicker than the grey yarn) and it ended up being about 13” tall.  I ended up crocheting 60 rows until it measured about 18” across.

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The extra height allowed me to fold up this hat to give a beautiful wide ribbed rim!

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You can see the difference between my grey and white beanies!  The worsted weight vs. bulky and no-rim vs. rim help give them very different looks…

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I really wanted to add a pom pom to my white beanie too!  We had previously made yarn pom poms for our baby shower a year ago (see blog post HERE) so we still had some of our cardboard circles.  At first we made the pom pom on the right but we decided it was too small.  And so, we ended up making bigger cardboard circles (diameter of 4 inches) to make a bigger pom pom!  Watch this video HERE to see how you can make your own yarn pom poms using cardboard circles!

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After attaching our big pom pom, my ribbed beanie was complete!  These pom pom beanies are incredibly popular right now- if you walk into any clothing or accessories store, you will most likely see them being sold in a wide variety of colours!  It’s awesome being able to make your own for a fraction of the cost!

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Here is my completed grey beanie too!  I used less than one skein of yarn for this grey beanie and a little over one skein for the white beanie!

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I was SO excited to try on my beanies as soon as I finished crocheting them!  The white beanie turned out just as I hoped it would!  I love the wide rim and big pom pom- it makes it look so cozy!  I can also wear the beanie “slouchier” by making the rim less wide…

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The grey beanie has a different look- I feel like it’s a bit “edgier”!  I love wearing it too :)

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We thought it would be fun to do an outdoors shoot with these beanies since we normally take all our photos indoors!  After all, these beanies are meant to be worn outside and to keep us warm!  We have been getting quite a bit of snow over the past week, and it was actually relatively warm on the day we did this photoshoot (hovering around 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit).  I thought I would try some shots without my jacket but we quickly discovered that it was NOT a good idea and I quickly put my jacket back on, haha!  I am definitely used to the cold though having grown up in our cold climate!  

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I love how my pom pom beanie looks paired with my parka!  For those of you who live in colder climates, I wanted to share a wonderful find with you all: fleece leggings!  I adore wearing leggings all year round as they are so comfortable, but sometimes you need that extra warmth in the winter!  I’ve actually worn long johns under my leggings before, but I recently purchased some fleece leggings from Simons on a recent shopping trip!  They are so incredibly warm and comfortable!

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This beanie kept my head very warm- it’s my new favourite hat and I can see myself wearing it A LOT during this winter!

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Here I am wearing my grey beanie!  We actually did this photoshoot in the same exact spot where we did the “Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie" photoshoot with my brother and sister two years ago (see HERE).  It was fall then so this trail looks very different now covered in snow!  I can’t believe how far we’ve come since then….two years ago Ryan hadn’t taken up photography yet, so we used the “Hipstamatic” app on the iPhone to take the Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie photos!

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{Parka: Aritzia, Cape: Aritzia, Polkadot dress: Urban Outfitters, Fleece Leggings: Simons, Boots: Steve Madden, Beanies: Me!}

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If you want your beanie to be slouchier, be sure to crochet more chains at the beginning to give the hat more height!  This pattern is very versatile and adaptable as you can use any yarn, make your hat slouchier, chunkier, striped, etc.

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I had been searching for a hat pattern like this for a while, and I am so excited that I found one!  This would make a great project for people who are interested in learning how to crochet as it is so easy to make and the results are beautiful!  

Once again, you can find the free pattern on the Lion Brand website HERE!  When my sister Ashley saw how cute my hat was, she immediately requested one too- I think I will definitely be making more of these in the future….will you?  I’m even thinking of making a matching pom pom beanie for Myla as well!  They would make great Christmas gifts!  If you end up posting your projects on Ravelry, you can find the entry HERE as it is under “Adult’s Easy Crochet Hat" by Lion Brand!  I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and don’t forget to connect with me through my Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram!  Stay warm and happy crocheting :)

[Update: I ended up making a purple “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie" for my brother Corey using the exact same pattern I used for my white beanie!  These beanies look great on guys too!  

Check out more photos of Corey’s beanie HERE!]

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